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Yalin Liu is Chief Student Marshal of fall 2013 graduation class


Yalin Liu is the Chief Student Marshal of Southern University's fall 2013 graduation class.


The China native arrived at Southern in the fall of 2010 with one thing on her mind:

Graduate with her bachelor's degree in Computer Science in just three years.


Liu did just that and led the approximately 500 fall graduates into the F.G. Clark Activity Center at 10:30 a.m., today.


"I was excited," said Liu after hearing that she would be the Chief Student Marshal, the graduating student with the highest grade point average (3.84). "I applied to graduate school so this will make my resume look beautiful," she laughed.


The 22 year-old from Sichuan Province in China discovered Southern while searching for schools with a research assistantship in the United States. She came across Southern and contacted Dr. Shizhong Yang, a Computational Scientist in the Department of Computer Science.


Yang welcomed Liu to Southern and helped provide a home for her during her first semester in Baton Rouge.


"Dr. Yang is very nice and his wife and him treated me like family," said Liu.


Yang said Liu is a talented student "who will shine in Southern and in the science community."


Liu says that she has enjoyed her time at Southern and that everyone from her classmates to the professors have been helpful and nice.


Her challenge in Baton Rouge has been conversational English even though she started taking English classes while in middle school.


"When I got here I had to listen carefully," said Liu. She said the accents were different from what she would hear in China or on the radio.


Despite the barrier, she says that both teachers and classmates have been helpful in slowing down when speaking in the classroom and helping her with notes.


Harris Hall became a favorite of Liu because she spent so much time in the English Department working on her English and taking classes to help her improve.


 Liu said, "Southern is like my family." And she would recommend Southern to anyone. In fact her friend from China will be attending Southern in the spring, majoring in Computer Science.


She explained that classes here were more intimate where professors take time with the students. In China it will be one professor for a class with over 18 students and they may not be able to spend extra time with students, said Liu.


Next Liu plans to attend graduate school either in California or Texas. She will get her Ph.D. and eventually teach at a university.